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Japan Courts France Amid Growing Tensions in East Asia

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

French President Francois Hollande’s three-day visit to Tokyo, where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, resulted in major agreements on nuclear cooperation and joint development of military hardware. The summit, which also covered a range of other topics, reflected the noticeable improvement in recent years of the two countries’ already solid bilateral ties.

Despite often being rivals for foreign contracts, Japan and France remain closely bound through cooperation on advanced technologies. Indeed, the agreement to increase nuclear cooperation was not a total surprise considering that a French-Japanese consortium just won a lucrative $22 billion joint bid to develop Turkey’s second nuclear power plant on the Black Sea. During Hollande’s visit, both sides agreed to two pillars of future nuclear cooperation: first, an increase in cooperation on exports of nuclear technology and, second, cooperation on disposing of Japan’s spent fuel. ...

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